The Spectacle Blog

Luntz: Anger Not Fake

The Southern Governors Association got together over the weekend to talk mostly about climate and energy, but they also dedicated a little time to discuss health care and invited pollster Frank Luntz to explain the pulse of the nation.

By on 8.24.09 | 9:38AM

The Southern Governors Association got together over the weekend to talk mostly about climate and energy, but they also dedicated a little time to discuss health care and invited pollster Frank Luntz to explain the pulse of the nation. He debunked any notion that "astroturfing" is behind the anger-filled townhalls. From The Virginian-Pilot:

"The public is mad," [Luntz] said. "It's not fake.... People spit on me when I do focus groups, and it's not because they don't like me. They're really angry."

Ironically, he said, a majority of those polled say they are satisfied with their own health care. He suggested that the public anger springs from a more generalized dissatisfaction with the way things are going in America - with the sputtering economy at the top of the list.

"Only 34 percent of Americans believe their kids will be better off than them," he said. "If you want to understand what this economy has done, this is what it has done to people...."

"Nobody trusts government," he said. "More people believe in the existence of UFOs than believe that Social Security will still exist when they retire.... More people would rather be mugged than audited by the IRS. And 5 percent say there's no difference."

Yet there's a contradictory sentiment:

"The public has come to the belief that everyone has the right to health care, no matter what their physical condition and no matter what their income," he said.

"Make no mistake," he said. "And as I say this I look you straight in the eye. The American people want you to fix health care.

"They want you to fix it - and not break what isn't broken."

Sounds like all Americans, and not just politicians, want everything paid for with "other peoples' money."

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